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Beloved Highlander Mass Market Paperback – 1 Oct 2003
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A good story. I enjoyed this book very much.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
First to the story: At 17, Gregor Grant lost his role as future Laird of Glen Dhui with the Scottish uprising of 1715, even though his father was the Jacobite in his family. Gregor is spared transport from Scotland by English General Mackintosh whose life Gregor saves. Gregor becomes resigned to a life away from his clan and takes a job as Captain in a Campbell regiment where he has been serving for years. Meanwhile, Gen. Mackintosh now owns Glen Dhui and needs Gregor's help. Mackintosh sends his daughter, Margaret, to find Gregor and bring him back to help them defeat the claim of an evil suitor (the neighboring duke) who Macintosh betrothed her to in a weak moment. Margaret grew up with visions of Gregor as a golden boy who drew beautiful pictures, so she is shocked to find a dark, scowling warrior sitting in a tavern smelling of booze and bleeding from a sword wound. Gregor agrees to help her--for pay--since he was needing a change anyway.
From the beginning I could see where this was going and that's always disconcerting. OBVIOUSLY she needed to marry Gregor, making him laird and defeating the evil duke's claim. Duh. That the heroine didn't see this just made her look stupid. But the predictability of all that wasn't the biggest negative for me. It was the author's style of overly long passages of character introspection. Pages and pages of it. OK, so they lusted after each other from the beginning and she was insecure and he experienced mixed feelings being back home. I got it already. I didn't need to read it over and over again. (I'm not convinced a guy would be spinning all that around in his head anyway. But even so, it was just repetitive and boring.) I skipped many of those paragraphs and missed no dialog or action. Two thirds of the way through the book, they finally wed. To my way of thinking, that could have been accomplished in the first 50-100 pages. The story just dragged for me.
Like another reviewer, I found the heroine annoying. She was overly concerned with her plain looks and incredibly insecure (ostensibly this was due to her suitors who were only interested in her wealth but that didn't make sense as her father loved and doted upon her). She also constantly questioned Gregor's feelings for her without justification which really got old.
Some who don't mind the slower pace and the long passages of introspection might find this a worthy read. It's my first by Bennett and I suppose it's her style and her fans are used to it. To me, it was only mildly entertaining and easy to put down. While I finished it, I was not enthralled. For a list of those Scottish/Highlander historicals I believe justify 5 and 4 stars, see my Best Scottish/Highlander Historical Romances list.
One last thought. The cover picture of the hero is wrong. He does not have hair that dark. The book, on the few occasions it refers to his hair, describes it as tawny with gold highlights.
I'll be looking out for the next one you can be sure of that!
Margaret Mackintosh is the daughter of an English general who bought Glen Dhui after it was confiscated from the Grants. He met the eighteen-year-old Gregor when he was imprisoned after the rebellion, took a liking to the lad and lobbied for his freedom, for which Gregor is grateful. He has now been deceived into betrothing Meg to their neighbor the Duke of Abercauldy a man, he later learns, suspected of murdering his first wife. Knowing that he is too old to fight off Abercauldy, he sends Meg to bring back Gregor Grant who he thinks is the only man who can save them all. Just how Meg does not know, but she'll do anything for her father, and if he thinks Grant can help them, so be it.
But what he has in mind will change their lives forever. Is Gregor willing to resume his rightful place as laird - even if it means marrying the brave and fiery Meg? And will Meg agree to marry the golden haired, fierce warrior Gregor? And is there more to it than a marriage for their mutual benefit?
I loved Gregor's character and Meg's as well. He's sweet, strong, warm and honorable and she's strong, competent, pragmatic and passionate. An enjoyable romance even if the Abercauldy aspect of the story was a bit weak.